John Leak

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For those of a similar name, see John Leake (disambiguation) and John Leek (disambiguation).
John Leak
John Leak P02939.jpg
John Leak, c. 1916
Born 1892
Portsmouth, England
Died 20 October 1972 (aged 79–80)
Allegiance  Australia
Service/branch Australian Army
Years of service 1915–1919
Rank Private
Unit 9th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force
Battles/wars
Awards Victoria Cross

John Leak VC (1892 – 20 October 1972) was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Biography[edit]

Born in Portsmouth, England in 1892.[1] He emigrated to Australia when he was young.[2]

He enlisted into the 9th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, on 28 January 1915 in Rockhampton, Queensland. He was 23 years old when, on 16 April 1915, he embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A55 Kyarra to Gallipoli.[1]

He was a twenty-four-year-old private[3] when, on 23 July 1916 at the Battle of Pozières, France, he committed an act of great bravery and heroism for which his was awarded the Victoria Cross.[2]

In 1918 he was wounded, and discharged the next year.

Victoria Cross citation[edit]

No. 2053 Pte. John Leak, Aus. Infy.

For most conspicuous bravery. He was one of a party which finally captured an enemy strong point. At one assault, when the enemy's bombs were outranging ours, Private Leak jumped out of the trench, ran forward under heavy machine-gun fire at close range, and threw three bombs into the enemy's bombing post. He then jumped into the post and bayonetted three unwounded enemy bombers.

Later, when the enemy in overwhelming numbers was driving his party back, he was always the last to withdraw at each stage, and kept on throwing bombs.

His courage and energy had such an effect on the enemy that, on the arrival of reinforcements, the whole trench was recaptured.[4]

Medals[edit]

Victoria Cross (UK) ribbon.png 1914-15 Star ribbon.jpg

BWM ribbon.jpg Victory medal (UK) ribbon.png GeorgeVICoronationRibbon.png Ribbon of QEII Coronation Medal

Victoria Cross (UK) ribbon.png Victoria Cross (VC)[5]
1914-15 Star ribbon.jpg 1914-15 Star[5]
BWM ribbon.jpg British War Medal[5]
Victory medal (UK) ribbon.png Victory Medal (UK)[5]
Ribbon of the King George VI Coronation Medal King George VI Coronation Medal
Ribbon of the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "John LEAK". The AIF Project. 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "The Victoria Cross Awarded to Men of Portsmouth – Private John Leak VC -". Memorials & Monuments In Portsmouth. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  3. ^ "More World War I VC heroes". PerthNow. April 19, 2008. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29740. pp. 8869–8871. 8 September 1916. Retrieved 2010-04-24.
  5. ^ a b c d John LEAK, The AIF Project, www.aif.adfa.edu.au

External links[edit]